South African Journal of Education - Volume 24, Issue 3, 2004
Volumes & issues
Volume 24, Issue 3, 2004
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 177 –182 (2004)More Less
Debates on abortion have escalated following the implementation in 1997 of the new law that legalises abortion from the age of twelve years in South Africa. Very often the person that opts for an abortion is merely an adolescent, who is still en route to adulthood. The adolescent's teacher shares the responsibility of the parent to accompany the adolescent to this procedure. The primary objective of the research was to determine from a socio-educational perspective what specific view teachers have of an abortion during adolescence. In order to achieve this, a qualitative method of research was used, with data being collected by means of focus-group interviews, through purposive sampling. The transcriptions were subjected to descriptive analysis. The findings of the research are presented and guidelines offered to teachers on more effectively accompanying the adolescent of our present-day society who plans to have an abortion or has had one.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 183 –188 (2004)More Less
Home-school communication is one of the most traditional and vital forms of parent involvement but it is often poorly implemented. According to Epstein's model of parent involvement, home-school communication should be two-way communication and reflect a co-equal partnership between families and schools. In this article we examine school practices of home-school communication in South African primary schools using quantitative data derived from a survey of primary schools and qualitative data derived from interviews held with a small sample of primary school principals who also participated in the survey. The aims in this research endeavour were twofold: to explore the nature, frequency and effectiveness of home-school communication practices, and to make recommendations how home-school communication can be improved to facilitate better home-school partnerships.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 189 –193 (2004)More Less
The aim in this research was to determine how endogenous factors such as gender, intelligence, self-concept, and personality relate to the eating habits of adolescents. An empirical investigation was conducted using 340 secondary school learners, 162 boys and 178 girls. From the results it appeared that girls tend to have more unhealthy eating habits than boys and adolescents with high intelligence are at risk of developing unhealthy eating behaviour. A strong relationship existed between the physical self and eating habits. The most important personality factors associated with eating habits were social boldness and individualism.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 194 –199 (2004)More Less
Since 1994 South Africa has been in the process of transformation and redress. People are taking up their right to education and are also taking full advantage of the fact that all institutions of higher learning are open to all citizens of the country. Research shows that black students who attend predominantly black institutions benefit from a supportive social, cultural, and racial environment that enhances their successful adaptation to the academic demands of undergraduate study. This kind of support may be lacking in the new dispensation. It was therefore important to find out whether this applies to current black female students in predominantly white institutions, and specifically at the University of Port Elizabeth. It has been argued that adolescents, who have the universal task of stabilizing their identity, might be influenced by recent transformation. This process of transformation includes the paradigm shift of restricting females to a few stereotyped roles. Late-adolescents often find themselves studying at a university, which consequently leads to the question whether new academic identities are emerging among black female students and, if so, what they are. The primary purpose of the research was therefore to determine how these students see themselves academically in a transforming academic environment. A qualitative method of research was used for the investigation. Analysis of the transcribed interviews was done and trustworthiness was ensured. Ethical measures were also adhered to. This article provides a detailed reflection on the results of the research, namely that the academic identities of black female adolescents are directed by their life goals, charged by specific feelings and characterised by their experiences. General guidelines are also presented in this regard.
Die verband tussen taak- en egobetrokkenheid en selfverwante faktore in spansport met besondere verwysing na hoërskolerugbySource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 200 –205 (2004)More Less
In this article we investigate the possible relation between task and ego involvement and factors related to the self of male adolescent rugby players. In task-involved sport participation (high school rugby, in this case), skills development is emphasized, evaluation of achievement is self-referenced, and success is experienced when learning takes place, when a task is mastered, or when there is improvement in the execution of tasks. Success is attributed to effort. In ego-involved sport participation (high-school rugby) objective outcomes are emphasised (e.g. winning), evaluation of achievement is norm based, and success is experienced when own achievements are favourably compared to those of other sport participants. Success is attributed to natural ability. The empirical study showed a positive relation between task-involved high school rugby participation and the global, personal, and social self. A negative relation between ego-involved high school rugby participation and the physical self was found.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 206 –211 (2004)More Less
School vandalism has negative economic, psychological, and educational implications for education. On the other hand, well-cared for school facilities, furniture and equipment, as well as clean toilets, are conducive to a healthy teaching and learning environment. Because learners have the right to be taught in tidy, clean school buildings, the aim of this research was to investigate the perceptions of a group of educators regarding aspects of school vandalism. It was evident from the research that vandalism is a learned phenomenon in schools and adjoining residential areas. Learners, particularly boys between the ages of 14 and 19, are the most important vandals. However, it is clear that schools are regularly vandalised by herdsmen, gangsters, drop-outs, ex-learners, and learners from neighbouring schools. The research indicated that juridical, economic, drug and alcohol, as well as learner-related, problems are considered important causes of school vandalism. On the other hand, it was found that educator and school management practices are less important causes of learner vandalism.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 212 –216 (2004)More Less
One of the key educational ideals of the African Renaissance is the elevation of learners to the highest level of human development. The challenge put forward to the education and training sector is to provide for the necessary capacity and conditions to ensure sustainable holistic development and growth amongst all levels of learners. Parallel to this the South African Qualifications Authority's critical cross-field outcomes should be considered. One of these outcomes states that learners should be able to think critically. Although this outcome articulates well with the cognitive domain of holistic development, it also gives rise to some concern. One area of concern deals with the cultivation of critical thinking skills among learners. Research indicates not only that these higher order thinking skills are unlikely to develop simply as a result of maturation, but also that they are notoriously difficult to teach and learn. Furthermore, if it is assumed that educators should play a pivotal role in accompanying learners to develop critical thinking skills, it is perhaps also reasonable to assume that educators themselves should possess the capacity to think critically or to apply critical thinking skills. The purpose in this article is to elucidate the critical thinking abilities of a group of prospective educators in the light of the ideals being put forward by the African Renaissance and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
How do professionals develop? Lessons for the effective implementation of the South African Skills Development ActAuthor G.M. SteynSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 217 –224 (2004)More Less
The Skills Development and Skills Development Levies Acts, passed in 1998 and 1999, and the subsequent National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS), have been initiatives to develop the people of South Africa and to provide educational and economic opportunities for all. In order to implement NSDS, 25 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) have been established within different economic sectors that cover the South African economy. The SETA Education, Training and Development Practices, known by the acronym ETDP SETA, is responsible for promoting and facilitating the delivery of education, training, and development. Delivering quality education and training is currently one of the most important endeavours for the restoration of the culture of teaching and learning. Professional development (PD) of educators is seen as an essential ingredient for promoting the delivery of education and training and improving learners' performance. Despite research findings, the development of many PD programmes rests on faulty assumptions of such research or on no research at all. The purpose of the paper is twofold: to explain why some PD programmes have been unsuccessful, and to outline key factors that may influence the effective implementation of PD in schools and ultimately the effectiveness of the NSDS in educational circles. Specific categories that are highlighted include learning styles of educators, educator commitment, transformational leadership, out-of-school conditions, in-school conditions, and requirements of programmes. According to the model for PD, the design of PD requires a new way of thinking and interacting and, most importantly, should be a step towards improved educator and learner performance for the sake of effective knowledge and skills development.
Author Renuka VithalSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 225 –232 (2004)More Less
I analyse the efforts of one learner, Devan, and a student teacher, Sumaiya Desai, in whose class he participated, as she attempted to realise what may be referred to as a social, cultural, political approach to the school mathematics curriculum through the practice of project work. The focus is specifically on the actions and reflections of Devan as he participated in the project work experience and overturned his casting as a "failing" mathematics learner in a Grade 6 mathematics classroom. I theorise the practice of project work through the data related to Devan and the conceptual tools of project work: problem-orientation; participant-directed; inter-disciplinarity; and exemplarity, and use this framework to organise the structure of this paper. Through this conceptual framing, the challenges and possibilities that such classrooms pose, for learners like Devan but also for the theoretical ideas and associated practice, are made visible and I discuss the potentiality that remained unexplored.
Author G.D. KamperSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 233 –238 (2004)More Less
A definition of educational research is proposed: Educational research is a particular mode of social service, using rigorous scientific endeavours for the continuous improvement of educational practice. The key components of this definition are used to reflect on educational research in South Africa as (1) a particular mode of social service (with discussion of an ethical code for educational research and national educational research priorities), (2) scientific endeavour (with reference to the nature of educational research, dissertations, scientific articles and research programme reports), and (3) role players in the continuous improvement of educational practice (with reference to policy making and operational practice). It is evident that educational research in South Africa has a noteworthy record of national and regional impact. Present threats to its academic stature and praxiological impact can only be overcome by taking appropriate and timely research management action.
Author R.J. BothaSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 239 –243 (2004)More Less
A professional school principal is the educational leader and manager of a school, and is therefore responsible for the work performance of all the people in the school (i.e. both staff and learners). People are the human resources of schools. They use material resources (such as finances, information equipment, and facilities) to produce a "product", namely, the educated learner. One of the principal's jobs (the so-called principalship) is to help the school achieve a high level of performance through the utilisation of all its human and material resources. This is done through effective, and ultimately excellence in, leadership. More simply stated: a principal's job is to get things done by working with and through other people. Studies of effective and excellent principals reveal that the major reason for principals' failure is an inability to deal with people. If the people perform well, the school performs well; if the people do not perform well, the school does not. In this sense, the leadership task of school principals is of the utmost importance and is probably the most important element of the principal's role and/or task. School principals are essential to the success of schools of all types and sizes. This philosophical review of the literature, which draws its conclusions from recent "best practices" with regard to excellence in school leadership and the so-called "new" principalship, is an attempt to raise and answer some questions concerning new demands on the professional principalship in a changing South Africa where educational reform is the norm rather than the exception.